Raikkonen wanted to change damaged front wing

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen said he wanted to change the damaged front wing he carried until the end of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Raikkonen damaged his car’s nose and lost several front-right wing elements in a collision with Sergio Perez early in the race.

Afterwards Raikkonen said he “didn’t know” why the wing wasn’t replaced. He told the team during the race he wanted a new one.

“I wanted to change but I think the car was handling not so badly after the damage and you lose more time when you change so I think we have to look but I don’t know if it makes a massive difference because you lose so much time to change.”

Raikkonen blamed his McLaren rival for the collision: “Overtaking Perez I was next to him and he just pushed me on the kerbs.”

“I tried to avoid him and went on the grass and hit him on the rear I think and I damaged the front. That didn’t help but luckily it didn’t affect so much the handling it’s just there was a bit too much understeer. We could still fight for second place. For sure without the damage we’d have been quite a bit faster.”

Raikkonen also lost out at the start of the race, falling behind both Ferraris: “Just the wrong settings in the start,” he said. “A similar issue the last race but this should be pretty easy to fix.”

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Image © Lotus/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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64 comments on “Raikkonen wanted to change damaged front wing”

  1. I guess he knows what he’s doing

    1. It was more epic with a damaged car

  2. I think if he changed the wing, surely he wouldn’t have got on the podium. That was good call from the team unlike what Ferrari did in Malaysia.

    1. Yeah, Lotus certainly have made a team effort on this one. To be honest, it’s pretty impressive that he managed it.

    2. Raikkonen had plnety of room for that nose change. They weren’t threatened by anyone. He was being held up by Hamilton anyway, so he just wasted more laps behind Hamilton.

      When Raikkonen pulled out behind Hamilton after the pitstop it was immediately clear that it was a dumb mistake NOT to change that front wing.

      1. You think he’d still have beaten Hamilton with the wing change? I think he’d have dropped too far behind.

    3. So you are saying that the 10 secs he would have lost at the pits wouldn’t justify a change of front wing. Pace for pace it would justify even if in fact the car run surprisingly strong with the under-steer but in the end it’s all about track positioning .

  3. It seems that time and time again we see front wings and noses getting bashed without any appreciable impact on the performance of the car. All these intricate aero parts on the end plate must do something in the wind tunnel, but it’s questionable whether they actually do anything important in a race environment in which performance is limited mostly by tyre wear.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if someone is going to damage their wing and the car ends up going faster.

      1. Kimi had massive understeer due to nose damaged…..resulting in higher front deg.

        Eric Boullier said he had adjust his driving style to counter the understeer.

        1. It’s known fact that one of Kimi’s major dislikes is an understeering car…

          1. kimi learned his lesson in Ferrari by driving 3 years of understeering car. You can watch the onboard video how he applies opposite lock to induce oversteer.

      2. Worked for Massa at Catalunya one time.

      3. Well, in Spa 2004 Kimi had damaged barge-board from collision, that did not stop him from winning in front of Schumi’s super F2004.

        1. you know a lot thing ,,, uh ^.^

        2. The F2004 wasn’t super that weekend, Ferrari had quite a few tyre pressure problems in that race.

      4. good point!

    2. The thought is – albeit hypothetical – Kimi could have challenged for the win had he not suffered the damage. So the parts are crucial for that last n’th of performance.

    3. Well the main plain of the wing was not damaged and neither was the end-plate, which are the two main parts that contribute to the downforce from the front wing. The extra winglets that you see on them while do provide some performance are more for splitting and guiding the airflow so that it passes over the car the most efficient way possible, especially on the lotus that has turning vane -style parts rather than RB9 style winglets. So while the damage did not affect the downforce level on the car much it did mess with the way air went around the front of the car, hence the understeer. But you are correct, right now F1 is so tire degredation limited that the cars are never running at full capacity during a race so the effects of damage are negated, much like how Vettel was fast in the rain in Brasil last year but as soon as it dried up it became apparent that he was hopelessly down on power.

      1. the cars are never running at full capacity

        I don’t think that’s right.

        1. actually today I saw what does it mean to run at full capacity watching the final laps by Vettel. the onboards, I mean. While it was exciting watching that, it’s sad that it is seen as an exception.

    4. Not all parts on the car are for speed and some only give a few tenths which is not really as visible in a race as it would be during qualifying.
      The whole package is one compromise where the front wing also effects air-flow along the car. So if a front wing is damaged then it usually means less downforce but it could also mean that engine/brake cooling or downforce on the back is affected. It’s not that straight forward as we might think.

    5. Going on that principle, everyone would have one similar HRT and Marussia had when they first entered F1. The teams dont spend millions developing additional plains, elements and slots for no reason.

      It seemed quite clear to me that Kimi’s performance was compromised by the damaged wing. He lost time because of it, but the benefits of putting up with it outweighed the costs of coming in to change it.

  4. The incident was a pretty straightforward case of Perez not respecting Kimi’s position…..
    was a pretty solid impact I’m surprised his front wing stayed-on, given how fernando’s wing disintegrated with a mere nudge at about 45-55 km/hr :)

    1. @os-shahid1 Perez was completely blameless. He stuck to his racing line.

      Which is why the stewards took no action.

      1. True, but in my opinion Perez could’ve left a bit more room on the outside as we saw with Massa and Sebastian, It kind of looked like Checo disregarded the closing speed of the Lotus, but hey these incidents always have and always will leave someone saying the outcome should’ve been different

        1. I rather think Checo never expected Kimi to make a move on the outside there.

          1. Alonso’s hit was with an angle, so that’s why the wing upright got twisted and broke. Kimi’s was head-on and so just bumped the nose. Reminds me of Felix da Costa bump drafting in GP3 at Monza!

            Kimi should have feinted and gone down the inside on the brakes, if so we might have seen him joust Alonso for the win. And if Vettel had kept ahead of Hulkenberg for the first stint, maybe he would have been closer to put some pressure on too.

        2. @os-shahid1

          Perez could’ve left a bit more room on the outside

          I don’t think McLaren hired him to pull over and let his rivals past.

          1. :) Sure they didn’t
            And he usually does a good job of making sure they don’t get past him.

          2. No, of course not. McLaren provides a car that helps others to overtake you easily ;-)

          3. @os-shahid 1

            Like his crazy weaving manoeuvre?

            He definitely should’ve get a penalty for that one.

      2. @keithcollantine

        Perez was completely blameless. He stuck to his racing line.

        Spot on!! Kimi did not have half his car beside Massa, and Massa did the right thing by keeping his line and squeezing him out. Maldonado did it in Valencia las year! Perfetly legal and hard racing!

      3. @keithcollantine

        Perez was completely blameless. He stuck to his racing line.

        The problem was Kimi had stolen the line. It wasnt Perez´s line any more. But thats typical FIA racing.. They do everything to prevent passing without DRS.

        1. The problem was Kimi had stolen the line.

          If that were true the contact would have been side-to-side, not front-to-rear.

          1. Did you even watch the race? Raikkonen braked and swerved to avoid the colission, but then ended up off track and couldn’t brake fully when Perez started to brake while on the tarmac.

          2. If that were true the contact would have been side-to-side, not front-to-rear.

            It would have been side-to-side if Kimi havent back off when being pushed over the kerb. But he was still on the kerb and that make it impossible to brake as hard as Perez. You need four tires on the tarmac to brake 100 %..

      4. Racing lines don’t count going INTO a corner. Only when through the corner. Dozens of drivers have been penalized for exactly the same transgression.

        1. My point exactly….
          like Buemi on Heidfeld in Germany 2011 or maybe Vettel and ALonso Monza 2012

      5. your right keith. don’t think it was more than a racing incident , certainly not on purposely on sergios part. maybe he was feeling the pressure of driving for a top level team that i’m sure expect him to get the kind of results that the car is capable of. kimi did not seem to be angry about it anyway

    2. Yes, surely Perez should have moved to the inside of a corner to allow Kimi to pass him on the outside @os-shahid1. We should also have a look at punishing Sutil for having Guttierez run into him, and maybe Vettel for Alonso breaking his FW on his back in Malaysia too? Or have the viewers do a popularity vote on who should get punished were, that might suit you better.

      1. I understand your opinion, and I am not saying the stewards made the wrong decision. What I’m saying is that when a car is closing in on you at that rate, you judge the situation and make your move(i.e. your line going into the corner) within time .Pulling over and letting him past is something different. We have seen similar penalties for drivers in the past, as with Vettel on Alonso in Monza (2012). But Again as I said there will always be a divided opinion on these racing incidents.

        1. @os-shahid1 I think it was, in this situation, up to Kimi to avoid the contact, if he had of gotten next to him, that would be different. It’s up to the chasing driver to either get his nose half way up the car in front, or avoid a collision.

          1. Yes,having seen it again you are right. @mike

  5. Alan Permane:

    We lost around 0.25 seconds per lap due to the damage to Kimi’s car. It was a more difficult day for Romain who was struggling a little bit with his tyres, but overall for the team we had both cars in the points which is great.”

  6. I watched it on RTL, maybe that is why I didn’t see the fight between Kimi and Perez (they also showed commercials while Alonso caught Vettel and passed him, very annoying). I understood from the discussion between Kimi and Lewis after the race that Perez was waiving a lot. If Perez was that much out of line, why wasn’t he punished?

  7. I’m surprised that no one else is pointing out Perez’s double weave against Alonso..

    1. That’s because he got past him anyway.
      The double weave was clear but the incident didn’t affect Alonso’s race one bit.

      1. So what? It should’ve been penalised, that was some dangerous stuff, I recall Perez’s quote saying about Pastor he didn’t show respect on track, well think again Perez.

      2. Perez did one on the back straight on lap 14. As far as I’m aware, you’re allowed to weave only once, and on the second weave must leave enough room on the racing line. Perez clearly didn’t. He should’ve been penalised, or that rule should be lifted..

    2. This should silence those who thought that Malasya 2012 was Perez helping Alonso!

  8. Perez is a joke, his whole strategy is to go slow, for a long time and hold people up. Good luck with that texmex

    1. I am starting to think Perez was a mistake.
      Auto sport was indeed right when they though Kamui was the better option.

      1. I don’t know if Kamui Kobayashi would have been the better option (he was about the same as Perez, outscoring him in 2011, being outscored by 6 pts in 2012), but he shouldn’t be out of the sport, with Perez at a top team. Hulkenberg would have been the better option.

  9. I thought I remember hearing a radio trans from Kimi’s pit asking him if he wanted to adjust the front wing and he replied something like “Yes, one turn down” or similar. But when he came into the pits a few seonds later no one touched the front wing. Did I dream that, is it even possible to adjust the front wing in that way?

    1. they did it but i only notice it on the left side not sure about the right side

      1. they don’t need to adjust both sides.
        The screw they turn moves the whole main plate all together.

  10. @keithcollantine

    “If that were true the contact would have been side-to-side, not front-to-rear.”

    Look at the image or watch the replay on Youtube.

    Raikkonen’s front wheel was ahead of Perez’s rear wheel. If that’s not side by side then by your definition pushing another car off the track while it’s attempting an overtake is legal.
    Raikkonen moved on to the rumble-strip to his left to avoid Perez because there was a risk of braking the front suspension or steering and going off onto the paved run-off was safer. Unfortunately he locked the rear brakes and couldn’t avoid hitting Perez.
    Personally I think that is the reason why Perez didn’t get a penalty – because he also suffered during the incident. NOT because Perez didn’t do anything wrong. Had Raikkonen managed to avoid touching him I think he at least would have got a reprimand.

    1. @andrewsf1 Nice screenshot, was actually about to start searching the video from youtube to check it out myself but that shows it. Kimi was on the *side* of Perez and Perez should’ve stayed on the line he had on that picture, and not go all the way to left like there was nothing beside his car. And as some have noted here, he did swirwing moves on other drivers too, changing his driving lines more than once. That tortilla boy was a mistake for McLaren.

      1. It’s clear as day Perez stuck to the racing line during the incident with Raikkonen. The rules did not require him to get off it. Why else did the stewards not punish him?

        1. If he would’ve been in the racing line, he would’ve been directly in front of Raikkonen since the line was there, not where he was currently. Stewards not punishment doesn’t mean it was right, it might mean that given the circumstances (Raikkonen didn’t crash into wall from that and actually did a good race regardless, Raikkonen got pass him anyways, noone got hurt, etc etc) they didn’t see it necessary to punish him any further. Meaning he knows it was wrong but this time the outcome wasn’t affected too much by it and “all went well”. You can always argue endlessly if they make the right calls, what would’ve happened if Kimi had crashed into the wall because of it and hurt himself, what if he did that 2nd time would he get punished then and who did he do the move on (high profile racer or low) and so on.

          1. @lari Perez was clearly on the racing line, that is indisputable. You only need to look at the video to see that.

            Raikkonen tried to insert himself between the normal racing line and the limits of the track. Perez stuck to his line, as the rules allow him to, and instead of backing off Raikkonen went off the track. Raikkonen has no one to blame but himself.

            What I find curious is that Raikkonen has made the same misjudgement for two races in a row. He did much the same with Hulkenberg in Malaysia and complained the Sauber driver had dome something wrong when, again, he hadn’t. Raikkonen seems to believe that the instant he starts to pull alongside another car that car must allow him to come fully alongside. It makes me wonder if he misunderstood the rules clarification last July which basically says that drivers can’t push rivals off the road once they have started to make a defensive move, which neither Perez nor Hulkenberg had done in these situations. Hence, again, no reproach from the stewards.

        2. @keithcollantine
          Agreed, it seems that Raikkonen only acknowledges the regulation about giving space while being alongside with another car but disregards the right timing of the regulation?

          I hope his team will clarify it to Raikkonen instead of getting him involved unnecessary incidents.

  11. KImi’s move was totally legit. Checo moves – but always at the wrong time.

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